Human booby traps found on Utah trail

The Hills Have Eyes near Salt Lake City, apparently.  This is sick.

AP: Dangerous booby traps found on popular Utah trail

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The 20-pound spiked boulder was rigged to swing at head-level with just a trip of a thin wire – a military-like booby trap set on a popular Utah canyon trail.

Any unsuspecting hiker exploring the makeshift dead-wood shelter could have fallen prey.

Two men arrested over the weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment told authorities the traps were intended for wildlife, but investigators don’t believe the story.

“This is a shelter put together by people, visited by people – anything that would be impacted by their device would have to be humans,” Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. “It took some time to build these traps. They took rope, heavy-duty fishing line, and they intended what the traps were going to do.”

U.S. Forest Service Officer James Schoeffler came across the trip wires last week while on routine patrol on the popular Big Springs hiking trail in Provo Canyon about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. Having had previous military hazardous device detection training, Schoeffler immediately knew it was a threat. If not disabled, both devices – one set to swing down at head-level, the other designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes – could have been deadly.

[...] Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, of Orem and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo were booked in the Utah County Jail on Saturday and released on bail.

Prosecutors believed the misdemeanor reckless endangerment allegations were the strongest claims they could pursue without anyone being injured. Charges have not yet been filed.